Kent Miller of the Swiss Bluegrass Music Association reports:
After the short July/early August vacation period for families with kids in school, the bluegrass festival season will continue in Switzerland. The festivals in various regions are hoping the good weather of last year will be repeated. Noteworthy is that the Sunny Mountain Grass Bluegrass Festival in Loomis (eastern Switzerland) always feature an instrument. The bands are cleverly selected to underline the theme. Bluegrass Stuff (I) with Massimo Gatti and Blue Side of Town (D), who never let a banjo near them, are two examples.
Most of the festival-like events have been going for years, but one interesting second-year event is the Western Night, Jam Session in Erstfeld. They plan to have a lot of bluegrass this year, and an afternoon/evening festival on the road to the St Gotthard Pass could be very interesting, especially in combination with other stops. The Italian part of Switzerland, Ticino, is the place to be in the autumn.
The Swiss Bluegrass Music Association Fan Fest this year will be on 13 November in Brugg. We expect to have another great time with an evening of open mic groups playing a few tunes each, and two showcase bands. We would love to have people from other places come by and pick their favorites for us. Everyone is welcome!
The Bluegrass Jamboree is also called 'Bluegrass and Americana Music Festival' this year. The stop in Switzerland will be in Schaffhausen on 17 December. It will be interesting to see how they do that close to the holidays and at a new venue that is still kind of off to one side, but Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper should be a must-see and Jeff & Vida and Shotgun Party might attract 'festival people' that don't really like one-band concerts and people that don't like only straight bluegrass. For the rest of us, it's all good!
Bluegrass Radio Show (19:00 Sundays, 15:00 Mondays); e-mail